Oh, my! When I was a little girl, our Sunday School Christmas programs rocked. They were an all day affair, it seemed. A-L had to bring sandwiches, which my mother made Isaly's ham salad and cheese spread from Margaret's recipe. M-Z brought cookies. The bulletin announced it for weeks.
The kids did their program of songs and the manger scene. We would have a magician. The kids ran around the whole Fellowship Hall and educational wing. Did want those cookies, but not the sandwiches so much. We played silly games while waiting between segments of the program.
We got blue boxes with Christmas pictures of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, filled with hard candy and sometimes some cream filled chocolate candies. The boxes were so pretty, and the candy, too, but not my favorite. I don't believe they tasted too great for me. Dad usually finished them off.
When the sandwiches were almost gone, Santa arrived to hear the kids' requests
for presents. As we got just a little bit older, we knew it was some man dressed as Santa, but could never figure out who. One year after Santa had listened to everyone and I mean everyone, he went to the bathroom. We stood for hours(well, maybe not hours)by the door, peering under the crack and trying to figure out if it really was Santa. Where was his sleigh, anyways? On the roof? Whoever was Santa that year waited us out, until we were whisked away by the preacher and our parents.
We always thought Rev. Hatch could be Santa because he was very jolly. But I guess he would be missed the most and the most obvious.
These programs promoted a family feeling. Any adult was free to scold a kid, if he got out of hand. We ate at the long tables. Many showed up at these events, probably two to three hundred. A mingling crowd of well wishers singing Christmas carols.